Lately I’ve been obsessed with clicking on Google Ads for LASIK surgery and seeing the marketing funnels I am directed through.
“It blows my mind how many LASIK centers are so far off the mark.”
It’s as if they have run out of fresh LASIK marketing ideas an keep recycling the same old ads without making much of an effort to test, refine and improve their ads.
Here is just a sample of some of the mistakes LASIK surgeons in Houston Texas are making:
- poorly engaging headline copy
- bait and switch $250 procedure costs
- improper use of site extensions
- zero use of site extensions
- generic ad copy
- emotionless ad copy
- poorly designed landing pages
- non mobile friendly landing pages
- no use of call tracking software
This comprehensive post will show you many common mistakes 3 LASIK centers are currently making while advertising on Google Adwords.
The lessons here apply to many different businesses so if you are not a LASIK center you are still guaranteed to learn some great tips. (if you disagree I will send you $1 via PayPal LOL)I will start with some important information and then get into the 3 case studies afterwards.
Let’s get started!
LASIK Search Queries
When someone begins their search in Google to find the right LASIK surgeon you must think like they do.
Get into their minds and think about what they want to know and what has been holding them back.
Ask yourself questions like:
- what are they most frightened by?
- why haven’t they done this already?
- how will they choose their surgeon?
- how do they feel your compare to competitors?
- how do they make buying decisions?
- what stage of the buying cycle are they in?
These are all questions you must consider when tailoring your ad for optimal conversion rates.
This is a standard information gathering query for someone likely looking to see who offers LASIK surgery in the area they live in.
Do you feel this person is in a buyers mindset or an information gathering mindset?
They are likely in an information gathering phase of the buying cycle based on their search query. How can you use this information to tailor your ad to their needs?Give them exactly what they want and not some generic ad that doesn’t resonate with them!
Let’s now dive into our first case study:
Case Study #1 – LASIK Plus
When typing ” lasik surgery houston texas” into Google LASIK Plus claims the top spot for my results.
As you can see my query is very general and basic. As a rule of thumb bidding on this basic information gathering keyword phrase will likely result in lower quality leads.
Leads generated from such an ad will be a bit cold and convert at a lower rate yet LASIK Plus will be spending quite a bit to get these leads as this is a competitive keyword phrase.
The temptation here is the number of queries will be high which means more people will see your ad. With any keyword research you perform you will find the more generic keyword phrases yield more traffic.
Let’s take a look at their ad below.
If they are looking to brand themselves then having their name and website URL makes this a stealth ad.
This ad won’t drive a lot of clicks because the blue headline doesn’t engage or invite as many clicks as it could.
If they are paying per click they are getting free branding for those who do not click on their ad for a very competitive keyword phrase and not paying a dime. You don’t pay if no one clicks!
Did you notice anything odd about the ad links URL?
I searched for LASIK in Houston Texas and if I click on this link it appears to be for Hartford Connecticut based on the last word in the URL?
There is a reason for this!
Geotargeting! I live about 20 minutes from Hartford CT so this ad is being served to me based on where I am logged into my computer as opposed to where I am searching for a surgeon!
Do you or your advertising agency use the power of geotargeting in your ads?
“In this case it would have been a failure but for those looking for a surgeon in their immediate area this strategy is effective.“
Here is one of the most important things you must do when spending money on marketing LASIK.
LASIK marketing ideas – Campaign tracking!
When I click on the LASIK Plus ad this is what the link looked like after I clicked it:
This is how you can tell which marketing strategies are working and which ones are not!
Without campaign tracking you are throwing money away. Campaign tracking is defined as having a unique set of parameters in your links to learn exactly where people landing on your website came from.
This information is then used to amplify successful campaigns and remove those wasting your advertising budget.
Let’s dive into what information is found within this link:
The red highlighted box is what’s called a dedicated landing page. Words simply cannot convey to you how critically important this is to your LASIK marketing efforts.
This is one single page with one single goal. It contains very specific text that matches up with the search query and ad copy. It continues the conversation and guides a person deeper into your marketing funnel.
Without dedicated landing pages and campaign tracking for all your advertising campaigns you are throwing money away!
Why is a dedicated landing page important?
Let’s say we looked at 3 Google Adwords campaigns you had running. Each targeting a specific keyword phrase:
- “cheap LASIK Houston”
- “Best LASIK Houston”
- “safest LASIK Houston Texas”
Imagine the mindset of each of the people who types in the above Google search queries. They each have a very specific concern.
One person wants a deal, the other is willing to pay for the best and the final person is fearful and wants reassurance.
Let’s say the person who types in “cheap LASIK Houston” sees an ad speaking to how your LASIK surgery center is the best. Is that copy as powerful as a $500 off coupon headline would be?
Relevance is everything when it comes to marketing LASIK to your patients.
If someone is looking for the best then every step of your marketing funnel must speak to why you are the best.
- What awards has your surgeon achieved?
- Has your surgeon been featured in Ocular Surgery News?
- Did he pioneer a new surgical technique in the past?
From search query to ad copy to landing page you must always speak to why you are the best.
This same theory of course applies to cheap LASIK and safe LASIK as well. Each step of your funnel must focus on the #1 concern that got someone to click on your ad to begin with.
What is holding this patient back most from getting surgery and how can I remove this hesitation?
If your marketing funnel isn’t consistently relevant to my search query you have dramatically decreased the chances of me converting into a LASIK patient.
Let’s look back at the remaining parameters in our campaign tracking example with LASIK Plus:
I don’t want to go too deep into the remaining query parameters but here is a quick rundown:
- Medium – this is the type of ad used. This could be a banner ad, display ad or in this case paid search.
- Source – Google is the source. Keep in mind paid search exists on other search engines as well such as Bing.
- Campaign – Hartford is the specific ad campaign created within their Google Adwords account.
Information is power and with it you can better answer questions such as:
- which ads resonated most with certain office locations?
- our “cheap LASIK” campaign got clicked the most but did it get the most consults booked?
- is Google, Bing or Facebook driving us the most business?
This is just the tip of the iceberg! There is so much data we can gather from campaign tracking.
Case Study #2 – Joffe Medicenter
Let’s take a look at what we can learn from the Joffe Medicenter ad found with the same “lasik surgery houston tx” query.
Note: I takes me 10-15 hours to write one of these thorough and ultra impressive blog posts LOL. You will see a slightly different Joffe ad at the beginning of this post as different ads are served over time and this post was written over the course of 2 weeks.
There are some great things Joffe is doing here. They have created 2 very valuable ad extensions for their Google Ads.
Are You a Candidate and FSA LASIK Package.
These are a HUGE opportunity for you to make your ad look bigger and more important compared to ads without them.
It also offers additional information giving people more of a reason to click your ad.
Joffe knows one of the biggest concerns for patients is knowing whether they are the perfect candidate or not.
Many patients think because they have astigmatism they are not a candidate for LASIK when this is most often completely incorrect.
Their site extension link lets people click to get this question answered.
The ad extension is specifically a site extension ad which brings those who click on it to a dedicated landing page seen below:
The goal is to get the form filled out completely to begin the lead generation process.
The site extension copy and landing page match in topic which is great. If someone clicks a link that makes a promise you has better deliver once they view your landing page.
The key to converting the most people you can with any LASIK marketing strategy is specificity and giving them the best answer or solution to their specific problem.
Your landing pages must constantly be tested with conversion rate optimization techniques and A/B testing to reveal the highest converting version possible.
Where most LASIK centers fail next is analyzing and strategizing on how to convert more people who click into patients
One conversions killer is a horrible mobile experience. Check your Google Analytics and you will most likely see that between 40-60% of your traffic comes from a mobile device.
Are your visitors getting a positive user experience when they arrive on your website while on their cell phone?
Let’s continue to look at the Joffe ad example. Below is what I see when clicking on their ad site extension we just discussed:
Take a look at the size of my thumb compared to the form on the right. Do you seriously think I am going to fumble and struggle to fill out this form on my mobile device?
Answer = HELL NO!
If you do not make your landing pages mobile friendly then you are making a grave error. You just paid Google $10 for me to get this far and bail.
Imagine how many others take this same action?
How much is this costing your LASIK center?
The classic argument of how many fields to have on your lead generation forms such as seen above can be answered easily through A/B testing!
Offer visitors several variations of your form to compare and see which works best. You test different ads so why not test different forms and landing pages?
Keep in mind the easier ones to fill out may be a colder lead whereas those who take the time to fill out 9 fields may be a hotter lead.
Case Study #3 – Mann Eye Institute
Our final case study is one of the most classic and common I see.
- Weak Google Ads that pale when compared to their competition.
- An outdated website design that makes me think their laser is outdated as well.
- Their poor website copy reads like an online brochure and doesn’t build trust.
Let’s take a look at their ad:
What is the first thing you notice?
They have a small ad that is almost eaten alive by Joffe and LASIK Plus!
The bigger something is the more important it is and the more likely it is to get noticed.
The headline copy offers nothing of value to me. It is generic and meaningless.
Mann offers no ad extensions and they commit one crime many LASIK centers are guilty of when it comes to mobile advertising.
They offer no click to call option!
Notice the difference between these 2 ads and think about the person holding their phone right now.
They are already on their mobile phone and they are thinking about calling to schedule a consult with you.
Which ad makes it easiest for them to take this action?
Answer: The one that takes the least amount of effort and thought! The click to call ad!
NONE of the 3 LASIK ads we reviewed today offer a mobile call extension!
Calls convert at a much higher rate so why aren’t they making it easy for them? Many studies show a 400-600% higher conversion rate for phone calls over other forms of lead nurturing.
Let’s take a look at what Mann Eye Institutes landing page for mobile users looks like:
Half of the page is their logo and a woman frolicking in the prairie! What a complete waste of prime real estate!
Not to mention their contact us tab is chopped of. Has anyone reviewed this ad they are likely spending thousands of dollars on?
How can we improve this experience and drive more business?
Here are a few great ideas:
- change the image to a more relevant one such as a close up shot of a thick pair of CR-39 glasses
- overlay copy on this image stating, ” End the Hassle of Coke Bottle Glasses”
- you can then have a call to action right below stating, “Call Now to Discuss Your Concerns”
The photo strengthens and pairs perfectly with the headline copy and will resonate perfectly with those with thick lenses.
You then tell them what you want to do. Guide them by asking them to call you! This isn’t rocket science.
In a perfect world you should constantly split test multiple images, headline copy and calls to action.
Anyone can offer you an opinion on what should work but testing all ideas on a regular basis is the key to success for your LASIK marketing strategy.
What works for your LASIK center may not work for your friends clinic 1,200 miles away.
What I covered in this article is very small sample of what you must do to improve your LASIK marketing results.
Have a question or comment relevant to this article? Post it below or contact us directly and let’s chat about it!
Thank you so much for taking the time to let me improve the ROI of your advertising budget.